SUNDAY IS THE MOST SPECIAL OF DAYS

It is Sunday July 20, 2014. Another Sunday ticking away just like any other day. They are all Sundays to me. I carry my church inside of me and it goes wherever I go every day of the week. I did all the building-type churches for most of my years. I loved it for the most part and certainly got a lot out of those experiences. Those experiences are part of who and what I am today. I still step into one of those buildings now and then and reach for evidence of the Spirit there; but, all I really have to do is reach inside of me and stroke the connection I have to all that is and I can be satisfied fully there or here or anywhere.  The photo that accompanies today’s blog is one I took of the church built into the rock in Sedona, AZ.  If you don’t take Spirit with you, it’s just another structure built on rock.  If you are aware of Spirit within you then everything is a spiritual experience.

When I am giving love to and petting my dog Ollie it is a spiritual experience.  When everything is Spiritual, that is, of  Spirit,  then everything becomes Spirit/God/The All That Is.  and I am then always “in Church”. I am always aware. God/Good/Love/Allah/Jesus or whatever name you give to THAT which is, is everywhere at all times present. This is not to say that going to church, belonging to a spiritual group of any kind is not something a person needs or should experience. Until you have done your spiritual quest and have run out of reasons to regularly attend a church or religious assembly, then you are doing exactly what is right for you. For anyone in this stage or place, I say please keep going because that is where you need to be. God knows where you need to be. I certainly do not know where you need to be.

Your very Spiritual Essence is who and what you are and can be expressed in so many different ways, I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the different stages, expressions, and ways that Spirit can be expressed in, as and through each person and event. These expressions come from the ONE, the wellspring from which all comes.  It takes forms, transforms, and recycles inside and outside of the bounds of time.

Be that unique expression of God, of Spirit, no matter whatever form that is.  Know that Sunday is a special day that one can have every single day whether or not you go to the place you call church.  Sunday is the most special of days. — Brenda A Elliott, MSW

MYSTICS AND LOVE

People in Georgia and other pockets of traditional and fundamental churches often want to know what church you go to and they mean “What are your beliefs” or “Are you a Christian?” and the tail on that donkey is “Are you saved?” It makes me think now this Sunday morning just what am I in the categories of religious beliefs. I think I am now, at this point in life, a Mystical Christian and yet I would like to drop the word Christian because if often conjures up ideas that others have about that word. To say I am a mystic, well maybe that comes closer to describing my Spiritual orientation. I have been through the “fires” and learning experiences of traditional churches and “new thought” churches as well.

First I was raised in a Baptist church got in touch with “Jesus” there. Later I was drawn to the Catholic church but years later realized that it was the mystical core that I was drawn to. The solid pillars upon which that church stands are those who have trod the mystical way. Though little is said about those pillars in the church itself and no one much delves into the mystics of the church nor are encouraged to, it is the glue that has held that structure together even as it may creak and crack. Being the quiet rebel that I am, I did delve into all of that. Soon after that I found that the church structure was like a worn out garment that was too small for me. Ah, but the mystics of that church and the mystics of other persuasions were unspoiled and unsoiled by the structure and called to me in a voice so familiar.

As I now think back to when I decided to join the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites years ago, which is a secular order of the Order that St. Teresa of Avila belonged to, it was the mystical side of Christianity or Catholicism that I was drawn to. I still have the Scapular that I received when I joined the Order. I don’t do the Office nor follow The Rule of St. Albert but at heart I am a mystic.

In our world of names and categories, we get our label gun out and proceed to stick them on everything and everybody. I guess as humans we just can’t help it. After all, we have to have something to hold onto or we think we will float off into unfamiliar territory and that scares us. For some it is extremely important to add to that label, “Okay” or “Not Okay”. What follows is more duality and more separation between us.

The mystics are the ones who experience things that others cannot comprehend with Western thought. The mystical way is too abstract, to nebulous, too unexplainable. The mind can’t wrap itself around it so the Western mind puts into place that which can be comprehended better, is more tangible and makes more sense to the intellect like rules and a n attitude of the right and only way to God or Spirit.  I do not condemn these, I just say that I cannot personally abide in such a narrow and small space.

What has this to do with love? Actually it has a lot to do with it. No matter whether you take the more traditional way or the mystical path your job is to find or awaken to Spirit and the Love that is always there for you to rejoice in and to share with others. The unconditional love you seek is alive and well. We see moments during a disaster when people put aside their prejudices and work together side by side to rebuild and out of those ashes the Phoenix arises. But after things are back to normal, that time when we loved unconditionally, is forgotten.

When you love and accept others and accept your perceived flaws and theirs and when you put aside your needs, ideas, and beliefs, LOVE steps in and sweeps you into the world of mystics.